Western and even South Korean influence has long been banned in North Korea, and that includes the most popular Netflix show in the world right now, "Squid Game".
Smuggled 'Squid Game' series in North Korea
According to Radio Free Asia's sources in North Korea, a man who smuggled and sold copies of the Netflix series "Squid Game" was sentenced to death after authorities caught seven high school students watching the South Korean global hit show.
The smuggler is believed to have imported a copy of "Squid Game" from China and sold USB flash disks containing the series in North Korea.
According to sources, he would be executed by firing squad.
Furthermore, based on the reports, the student who bought a USB drive containing the series was condemned to life in prison, while six others who saw the show were sentenced to five years of hard labor.
Even the teachers and school administrators were fired and could be forced to work in remote mines or be deported.
Despite the authorities' best attempts to prevent foreign media out, copies of the violent drama arrived in the isolated country last week via flash drives and SD cards, as per RFA's report.
Netflix's 'Squid Game'
According to sources quoted in the report, the show's apocalyptic setting, in which marginalized individuals are pitted against one another in classic children's games for large cash rewards, and losing players are executed, resonates with North Koreans in dangerous vocations and insecure situations.
A source in law enforcement in North Hamgyong province told RFA's Korean Service Monday that, "this all started last week when a high school student secretly bought a USB flash drive containing the South Korean drama Squid Game and watched it with one of his best friends in class."
"The friend told several other students, who became interested, and they shared the flash drive with them. They were caught by the censors in 109 Sangmu, who had received a tipoff," the source claimed via RFA, referring to the government strike group that specialized in apprehending illegal video viewers, formally known as Surveillance Bureau Group 109.
The arrest of the seven students is the first time the government has used the newly established law on the "Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture" in a case involving minors.
'Squid Game' Smuggler's Punishment
The law, which was passed last year, stipulates that watching, keeping, or sharing media from capitalist countries, primarily South Korea and the United States, and has a potential penalty of execution.
Punishments will not stop with the smuggler and students who saw the film; individuals with no relation to the crime will also be held accountable.
According to Radio Free Asia, the administration is taking this occurrence very seriously, claiming that the education of the students has been ignored.
The school principal, their youth secretary, and their homeroom teacher were all fired by the Central Committee.